Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


After ovulating women spot snakes faster

09 March 2012, 11:31

Women who have just finished ovulating are better at detecting snakes than at other times of their menstrual cycle, according to an unusual study that sheds light on in-built reflexes for survival.

Nobuo Masataka of Japan's Kyoto University tested 60 healthy women of child-bearing age at three different phases of their cycle.

They were simultaneously shown nine pictures, one of which was a snake among flowers while the others were only of flowers.

The volunteers were tested on how quickly they spotted the serpent. The fastest women were those who were in the so-called luteal phase of their menstrual cycle, or the stage that immediately follows ovulation.

Mother's instinct to protect foetus

The study strengthens theories that we have a "fear reflex," or an innate response to threat signals such as potentially poisonous snakes, Masataka believes.

Previous research has found this trait among infants aged as young as eight months and even among non-human primates.

Among women, the reflex seems to be influenced by hormone levels at a stage when they could be pregnant and thus be more protective towards their foetus, the study suggests.

"It could contribute to women's ability to increase their vigilance towards biologically relevant threatening stimuli around themselves during this period of possible pregnancy," it says.


Tags snakes

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...